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Old 12-15-2005, 12:12 PM
Lloyd Lloyd is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Francisco
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Default MTT Frequently Asked Questions v1.5 (READ BEFORE POSTING!)

Welcome to the 2+2 Multi-table tournaments board FAQ. Thanks very much to Kneeco for putting most of this together. If you have any questions or comments pertaining to the FAQ please either PM a mod or disuss in this thread.

The FAQ contains a guide to posting hands, some information about how the forum operates and very brief descriptions of some poker concepts with come up frequently, these descriptions are very far from exhaustive and are only intended to orient members who are unfamiliar with the ideas. Please note that all usage of 2+2 forums are governed by the Terms and Conditions. Finally, there is a brief list of some common MTT acronyms/abbreviations.

Changes in V 1.5 - All Final Table Sweat and *Official* threads, plus anything not directly related to MTT strategy, should be made in the "MTT Community" forum. Added a link to the Harrington on Hold Em Vol. 3 discussion thread.

1. Guidelines for Posting Hands:

a) Do NOT post bad beats:
Step away from the keyboard. No one cares. Your bad beat is not special. We've all had ‘em. I don’t care if someone runner runner runner runner'd your quads with a straight flush. My dog doesn’t care either. My cat might, but he's a donk. Cliffs notes version: Don’t post bad beats, we don’t care.

If you absolutely feel the need to post a bad beat the only place where it is acceptable to do so is here.

Finally, keep in mind that bad beat posts are no less unacceptable if you try to disguise them behind a silly question like ‘should I waited until the river to go all in with AA since I knew he would call with anything?’.

b) Use the converter:
It can be found here. Make sure you switch the format to "2+2 Forums". Raw Hand Histories are difficult to read and cumbersome, using the converter will be doing everyone a favor and making your post more likely to get replies. Note that you should try and use the converter even when posting hands in "Official" tournament threads.

c) Have an informative title:
A quick summary of the hand in the title is helpful. "Calling all-in with 99 on the bubble in a $55' is a lot better as a title than 'Should I have folded this instead?"

d) Introduce the hand clearly:
First off, what’s the situation here: Online or live? What’s the buy-in? Secondly, you should set up the context in which you want to discuss the hand. Basically, what you should do, in one sentence at the top of your post, is answer the following question: Why am I posting this? This will give us a good idea of where you’re coming from and make the discussion more productive. i.e.: "By not controlling pot size early in the hand, I think I paint myself in a corner by the river' or 'I really think this was a solid execution of the squeeze play."

e) Include pertinent information:
Buy-in, stage of the tournament, reads on the villains, your image at the table. This stuff is generally very brief, but crucial (consider the problems in HoH an indicator of how to do this). Also, thinking of reads and such when you post hands is good practice to make sure you’re thinking about it at the table. Notice how the great players always seem to have reads to include, this isn't a coincidence.

f) Do not post results (at least initially):
Consciously or not, it’s impossible not to be impacted by the results of hand. Accordingly, not posting them is necessary to getting the best possible discussion. Therefore, results should always be absent, and should not be implied in the title or preamble to the hand (incidentally, if you only seek out advice on and discussion of hands that you lose, you probably have a lot to learn about poker). Not only should you not post results, you should stop all the action at the point in the hand that you want to discuss.

For instance, the following is flawed:
PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t100 (9 handed) FTR converter on

MP1 (t2450)
Hero (t710)
MP3 (t545)
CO (t4923)
Button (t2580)
SB (t1726)
BB (t1809)
UTG (t1168)
UTG+1 (t835)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with 9[img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img], 9[img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img].
<font color="#CC3333">UTG raises to t400</font>, <font color="#CC3333">UTG+1 raises to t835</font>, <font color="#666666">1 fold</font>, Hero calls t710 (All-In), <font color="#666666">5 folds</font>, UTG calls t435.

Flop: (t2530) K[img]/images/graemlins/diamond.gif[/img], 4[img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img], 6[img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img] <font color="#0000FF">(3 players, 1 all-in)</font>

Turn: (t2530) 5[img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] <font color="#0000FF">(3 players, 1 all-in)</font>

River: (t2530) 7[img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img] <font color="#0000FF">(3 players, 1 all-in)</font>

Final Pot: t2530

[/ QUOTE ]
While it may not contain the end result of the hand, there is still information there that may poison the well, the hand should be posted as follows:
PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t100 (9 handed) FTR converter on

MP1 (t2450)
Hero (t710)
MP3 (t545)
CO (t4923)
Button (t2580)
SB (t1726)
BB (t1809)
UTG (t1168)
UTG+1 (t835)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with 9[img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img], 9[img]/images/graemlins/spade.gif[/img].
<font color="#CC3333">UTG raises to t400</font>, <font color="#CC3333">UTG+1 raises to t835</font>, <font color="#666666">1 fold</font>, Hero calls t710 (All-In)

[/ QUOTE ]

2. What are the best posts in the forum?
A very fine selection has been compiled here.

3. No one is replying to my thread, may I bump it?
This actually happens very rarely, 2+2 is a very active forum, and most threads get some responses, so give it some time. If it does happen however that after a day no replies have been made, rather than a bump, if you feel that a good opportunity for discussion has been missed, you should probably reply to your own thread with more of your own thoughts on the hand/question/observation/theory or a reformulation of your post, as this is simply more productive. If you still don’t get any responses after this, it’s probably best to just let it go because, for whatever reason, people weren't compelled to reply.

4. Where can I read Raymer’s MTT posts?
The older archives are full of posts by the World Champ, they can be found here. Fossilman knows the game as well as anyone and was never reluctant to offer his advice. Many of these posts are quite good, and 2+2 approached Raymer about writing a book based on them even before he won the WSOP. That book is forthcoming.

5. What sites have the best tournaments?
Generally PokerStars is considered the leader for MTTs. They lead the pack because they have a continuous stream of tournaments starting in an assortment of games/buy-ins, also they offer the preferred software and customer support. However, there are some advantageous to playing on other sites. For instance, smaller sites often offer overlays (where a guaranteed prize pool is actually higher than the actual buy-ins, and accordingly the site is contributing to the prize pool). Party Poker is a popular choice despite some problems with their software/customer service because on average players there seem to be less skilled. Ultimate Bet is also a good site for MTTs, many argue it offers the slowest tournament structures (especially for higher buy-in events). In this post Burningyen took a close look at this subject of various site’s structures.

6. What is a good ROI/ITM%/FT%?
Difficult question to answer, generally many have said that any positive ROI is a good one, 100 is solid. As for ITM, anything over 10% is good, and MTT guru Sirio has said his records haven’t shown any player above 20% with a decent sample size (this is for online tournaments with fast structures, deeper stacks and slower levels should allow a skilled player to break that cap).

7. What is the bankroll requirement for playing MTTs?
Ring game players have their 300 BB rule of thumb, the MTT equivalent would be minimum 50 to 100 buy-ins (note: includes vig). Accordingly, if you want to play $10+1 tournaments, you would need $550-1,100 roughly to keep yourself ample cushioning to handle variance and keep in mind that many people would argue 100 buy-ins is really necessary. Also, this rule is meant to be applied to freezeout not rebuy tournaments.

8. What’s the best way to keep records on my MTT performance?
ExitOnly created a comprehensive Excel document for this purpose which can be downloaded here, or SnG tracker is a small piece of software which may also be handy.

9. Can I create final table sweat thread?


Here are a few guidelines for that:
First off, such posts should not be created until you reach the final table. Also, when creating a new post, you have the option of selecting an icon to appear next to the title. For organization’s sake, we ask that sweat threads carry the [img]/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img] icon. Also, in the title should include the the words "FT Sweat", the site, game and buy-in of the event, something like:

FT Sweat: Party NLHE 10+1

[/ QUOTE ]

Finally, in the post itself, please remember to include your ID on the site in question.

For the $20 180-person and other multi-table SNGs on Poker Stars, only one FT sweat thread is allowed per day. Before creating such a thread, make sure there already isn't one for that day. And when creating, please include the date in MMDDYY format in the subject. If you've made the final table in one of these and a thread has already been created for that day, go ahead and post there.

10. Can I create a brag/gratitude thread?
If all you want to do is brag about a big payday, you should be posting here. However, sometimes people like to create a thread after they've won an event to brag a little about their accomplishment and to thank the MTT forum for helping them with their game. These are fine, we like to hear that you are doing well and that people are getting something out of the forum.

Also, it has come up on occasion that people have felt so indebted to the forum after a large MTT win, they wonder if they should offer some financial compensation, the answer is no, although we might suggest that in the case of a big win, a donation to a charity of your choice might be in order. Paying back the forum is a simple as contributing wherever possible with insight and suggestions.

11. (LC)? (OT)?
Abbreviations for Low Content and Off-Topic respectively, should be used in thread titles on the rare (note: rare) occasions that someone posts something they want the forum to see but it is either fairly insignificant (LC) or not relevant (OT) to the discussion of tournament poker.

12. Which tournaments get *Official* threads? Can I create one?


Tournaments that get official threads are generally ones that are either very high profile or just attract a lot of 2+2ers. These include a slew of the big Sunday tournaments, the nightly 10+1$ rebuy on Stars and the 40K guaranteed on Party. *Official* threads must include the [img]/images/graemlins/club.gif[/img] post icon. The following is a list of those tournaments where *Official* threads are allowed:

-Stars Guarantee Rebuys ($10K, $15K, and $25K) These will be in ONE thread each day, anything else will be deleted
-Stars $45K
-Stars $150+$12
-Stars Sunday $500K (or $700K)
-Stars $300+$20 Saturday "Euro Weekly"
-Stars $30+3 Deep Stacks
-Bodog $100K
-Party $40K
-Party Supers / Friday Special
-Party Million, $500K, 750K (The large Party Weekend MTT)

Include within this any special series of events such as:
-Paradise Million
-Interpoker $500K
-Large super Sats like the Weekly $600 WSOP Sat

Any other thread posted whose purpose is to find out who else is playing in a tournament and/or track the progress of players will be locked or deleted. Repeat offenders may have their posting privilidges suspended or banned in extreme cases.

If you would like to propose another tournament be added to this list, please PM either Lloyd or Jurollo. Do not post a thread for that tournament until you have received approval.

13. Where/How can I sell Poker Stars W$/T$ - The MTT forum has its own marketplace for these transactions. Please use one of these two links depending on whether you are buying or selling.

Selling Marketplace
Buying Marketplace

14. I have a question regarding a Stud/Omaha/other non-HE tournament, should I post it here or in the forum assigned to that game?
Plenty of regulars in this forum are well versed in all the games; feel free to begin a discussion on any of them.

15. How should I play rebuys?
There is no set in stone way, here are a few guidelines:

2+2ers generally like to take an immediate rebuy (double your stack before you play the first hand) but many don’t do this. Taking the add-on however is all but compulsory, the only real time you shouldn’t be taking it is when you have very few chips at the end of the rebuy period and have given up on cashing in the tournament. In other words, passing on the add-on is tantamount to giving up on the tournament completely.

When considering playing a rebuy, realize that you need to be budgeted to spend 3-4 times the buy-in at least, playing a rebuy as if it were a freezeout and quitting if you lose your chips is extremely ill-advised. In terms of how you want to play during the rebuy period, you shouldn’t depart from your regular game too much, some players like to slightly adjust their thinking and pretend their M is actually &lt; 10 when it isn't. The main thing to do is take into consideration the way other people are playing and adjust accordingly, a lot of people play very loose/bad poker during the rebuy period determined to come out of it as the chip leader, you need to take advantage of that.

Also, Party Poker has a 'bug' affecting it's rebuy tournaments which allow players to rebuy whenever they are all-in (regardless of the outcome of the hand). The bug is pretty much common knowledge and used by many players. Whether or not you want to use it, it's something you should know about.

16. I play MTTs online and am about to play my first live one, what do I need to know?
It's the same game, so don't be intimidated. The biggest difference is that because of the speed of the game online, you'll be playing fewer hands per hour than you are used to (especially if you multi-table), this may make you anxious, don't let this happen, stay calm. Also, if you are used to the structure of online tournaments and are playing in a major live tournament, chances are that you have a lot more starting chips and slower blind levels than you are accustomed to, you need to adjust your strategy accordingly (PokerStars has deep stack tournaments that can be good for preparing for this).

Finally, there are rules to live poker that you need to know regarding how/when to act. The Brick and Mortar thread has a newbie guide you should read before venturing into live play. There is also a list of official TDA rules on the Tournament Directors Association website.

17. Should I fold AA/KK pf?
No, next question!

Alright, fine, here’s the thing. In a regular MTT you should never fold AA pf under any circumstances. Well, there's one exception. If you're VERY shortstacked in a bubble situation and doubling up will not likely increase your chance of moving up in the money while folding and letting someone all-in bust out may result in making the money or moving up, a valid reason for folding Aces might exist. But this is an extreme example where, for instance, the blinds are 500/1000, you've just lost a big hand and are down to 500 in MP with someone all-in in the blinds. In satellites however, there is the rare occasion where folding AA pf is justified given the discrepancy between cEV and $EV. For instance, say you have the second biggest stack in a satellite with eight players remaining and seven seats being awarded. You and one other player are well ahead of the pack, and a couple of players are quite short stacked with an M &lt; 5. You pick up AA in MP and the chip leader, the only player who has you covered, pushes from EP. In this situation, folding your Aces is the right $EV move, because you can easily fold into the top 8, all of whom are awarded the exact same amount (notice that you are turning down cEV when you fold you Aces).

In non-sat tournaments, you should never fold AA pf. Folding KK pf in non-sat MMTs is no less a sin in the minds of many players. If you are in a deep stacked tournament, with some good reads and multiple all-ins in front you, you might find a way to let go of second nuts, but you’re probably losing substantial value if you play with the mindset that cowboys are Ace magnets.

18. I play micro-buy-ins but can’t win because it is impossible to navigate these huge fields of fish since bluffs are always called and suck-outs are so common. Should I move up?
No, for two reasons. First off, fish and suck-outs are everywhere, regardless of buy-in. Secondly, if you can’t beat small MTTs, you won’t be able to beat the bigger ones.

19. What’s EV/cEV/$EV?
EV is expected value of a decision over the course of all possibilities. For instance, if I were to flip a coin offer you 1$ if you called it correctly, that would have a positive expected value for (it would be +EV), specifically you can say that the EV of each flip of the coin is 0.50$. Now let’s say I give you a 1$ if you call a coin flip correctly, but I charge you 0.55$ per flip to play the game. This is a wager you should not make, as it has a negative expected value (-EV).

When you are at the table, you not only want to make sure your moves are +EV, you want to maximize the expected value of them. For instance, if you pick up AA UTG in the first hand of a major tournament, pushing all-in right then and there is a move that has a positive expected value, but it is not the move you want to make because there are other approaches which offer a lot more.

cEV is Expected Value in Chips, in other words the chips that you will win/lose on a decision over the course of all possibilities.

$EV is Expected Value in Dollars, in other words the actual money that you will win/lose on a decision over the course of all possibilities.

In a cash game cEV=$EV because of course the chips are worth the amount they represent, however in a tournament this is not that case as the latter is contingent on payout structures and other considerations while the former is not.

20. What is the Gap Concept?
Coined by David Sklansky, the Gap Concept is a tournament phenomenon which states that it takes a stronger hand to call raise than it does to make a raise, even where the amount of chips being put in the pot is the same. There is a 'gap' between hands which meet the requirement for one and the other.

21. What is Sklansky's Tournament System? Can I use it to win big?
Outlined in Tournament Poker for Advanced Players, 'the System' is an all-in or fold approach to No Limit Texas Hold 'Em tournaments that is intended for completely inexperienced players. The system is designed to be played in deep stack tournaments, after the first few levels when the blinds are very small (during which time, the player should only be pushing with AA).

In brief, the system says that if there is a raise in front of you, you should push AA, KK, AKs, and anything else gets mucked. You will also be open-pushing with 22+, suited connectors 45+, Axs, and AK.

The idea of the system is that by limiting one's self to pre-flop play, one can level the playing field. It doesn't matter that a player is not good at reads, calculating pot odds, extracting value, bluffing or even reading the board, because by implementing the system he's avoiding any situation where his gross skill disadvantage can be abused by other players.
The system is accordingly not meant to be used by a thinking, experienced player, and is not intended for applications in online tournaments, with faster structures, fewer starting chips and especially loose players.

Why does the system come up often in discussion here if it's intended for use by beginners? Because the very fact that there is a way to 'eliminate skill' for multi-table tournaments exists, and that winning with such an approach is possible (and perhaps the best possible approach for some players), says volumes about the nature of the game and creates many avenues for theoretical discussion.

22. What is Folding Equity (FE)?
The potential that a bet/raise will cause all other players to fold and thus claim the pot and end the action. For instance, the folding equity of a pre-flop open push is contingent mainly on position and on the size of your stack (earlier postion and/or a smaller stack means lower FE).

The STT FAQ contains the following formula:
(Percentage of times all remaining opponents will fold to your bet)*(total chips you stand to gain when they do all fold)

23. What are M and Q?
Discussed in great depth HoH II, these concepts pertain to tournament endgames when the blinds and antes have becomes very significant.

M is simply the ration of stack to the current total of blinds and antes. For instance, if you are at a ten player table with t170,000 chips and the blinds are 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 antes, your M would be just under 7 (170000/(5000+10000+10000) = 6.8). The most obvious application of M is that it tells you how many rounds at the table you can survive at the current blind level before being blinded off.

Q is the ratio of your stack to the average number of chips left for each player. So if you have t50,000 left and the average stack size is 10,000, your Q is 5 (50000/10000 = 5). Q gives you a general idea of your position in the tournament, though at the same time Harrington calls it the 'weak force', because it is not as powerful an indication of how aggressive you need to be as is M.

24. Can I ask for backing/a loan?
No. If you really, truly believe you have earned the right to make such a request, PM a mod first and ask for permission, though the answer will almost always be no and mod decisions on the matter are final.

25. What do the acronym/abbreviation mean?
For anything that is not on the list below, consult, this very comprehensive list of by 2+2 poster HoldingFolding
Sats: Satellite
HoH: ‘Harrington on Hold ‘Em’
TPFAP: ‘Tournament Poker For Advanced Players’
TOP: ‘Theory of Poker’
ROI: Return on Investment
Mod: Moderator
LL: Last longer prop bets. Generally held for some Poker Stars events and initiated by one of the known MTT posters. (note: in other contexts, LL can also mean low-limit)
PP: Party Poker
PS: Poker Stars
TLB: Tournament Leader Board, generally referring to the one on Poker Stars
R+A: Rebuy/Add-on tournaments
ITM: In the money.
AI: All-in
HE: Hold ‘Em
PLO: Pot-Limit Omaha
O8: Omaha Eight or Better
WPT forum: 2+2s World poker Tour and other Televised Tournaments forum
PM: Private Message
WCOOP: World Championship of Online Poker on PokerStars.
Party 40K/Stars 45K/…: Refer to tournaments on these sites with guaranteed prize pools of the amount specified.
FPP: Frequent Player Points

26. Are there any MTT contests or tournments?
There are many MTT forum contests and events. Please see the "MTT Community" forum.

27. Are there any discussion threads on any of the various tournament poker books?
We currently have a discussion thread open for Harrington on Hold Em Volume 3.
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